Fancy Diamond Shapes: How the 88 Cut Compares to Other Fancy Shapes
The 88 Cut offers a refreshed take on fancy shapes. The octagonal shape of the 88 Cut makes it a particularly unique fancy shape as it provides a modern update on the classic and beloved round brilliant cut while being distinct enough to qualify as a fancy shape in its own right. With 8 sides and 88 facets, this patented specialty cut is designed to outshine and outperform all other brilliant cuts, round and otherwise. How do other fancy shapes compare to The 88 Cut? Unlike other fancy shapes, The 88 Cut does not sacrifice apparent size – in other words, a 1.00 carat 88 Cut diamond will have a similar, if not entirely identical, apparent size as a 1.00 ct. round brilliant cut diamond.
We’ve provided an overview of fancy shapes so you can get a better sense of how they compare to The 88 Cut.
The princess cut is a square or rectangular brilliant cut typically featuring phenomenal brilliance when it is ideally cut. Princess cut diamonds are perfect for those who want a square outline while still retaining the fantastic brilliance of a round brilliant cut.
Princess cuts have pointed corners, which can compromise their durability. However, in most instances, they are set beneath prongs that cover those delicate corners and ensure their integrity. Unlike The 88 Cut diamond, princess cut diamonds tend to look smaller in a face-up position for the same carat weight. The smaller apparent size of princess cut diamonds is a result of the larger depth of that particular cut, which aims to increase favorable light performance.
The radiant cut is a square or rectangular brilliant cut having angled corners. The radiant cut is an excellent option to maximize color in fancy colored diamonds as this particular cut intrinsically concentrates color. Radiant cuts are referred to as ‘Cut-Cornered (Square or Rectangular) Modified Brilliant’ on grading reports issued by diamond grading laboratories such as the Gemological Institute of America (GIA).
The sloped corners of the radiant cut makes for a durable diamond that usually do not have setting challenges. Radiant cuts tend to appear smaller in the face-up position than an 88 Cut diamond of the same carat weight.
The emerald cut is a step cut that contains crown and pavilion facets placed parallel to the girdle. Emerald cuts have angled corners and are rectangular. Due to the step cut appearance of the emerald cut, inclusions tend to be much more obvious than they would in brilliant cut diamonds. For emerald cut diamonds that appear larger in their face-up positions relative to other fancy shapes like princess cut and radiant cut of the same carat weight, choose one that is not too deep and has an ideal girdle thickness.
Asscher Cut (Square Emerald Cut)
An Asscher cut is a square emerald cut. Like the traditional emerald cut, the Asscher cut is a step cut that contains crown and pavilion facets placed parallel to the girdle. Asscher cuts have angled corners and owe their name to the Asscher family. As with the emerald cut, in Asscher cuts, inclusions are usually more obvious than they are in brilliant cuts. Asscher cut diamonds typically appear smaller in their face-up positions compared to The 88 Cut as a result of their distinct cut.
The cushion cut is a square or rectangular brilliant cut that has rounded corners and mimics the shape of a pillow. Common cushion cuts include modern and antique. Typical facet patterns for cushion cuts are either ‘Cushion Brilliant’ or ‘Modified Cushion Brilliant.’ Antique cushion cut diamonds are distinguished by their smaller tables, higher crowns and larger culets.
The oval cut is an oblong brilliant cut. Ideal proportioned oval cuts flatter the finger by elongating it. Oval cut diamonds are a fancy shape that should be seen in person to get the best idea of appearance and quality. Oval cuts are affected by the presence of the ‘bow-tie effect’ – a dark area that appears in the middle width of the oval cut, caused by a mix of different pavilion angles. Oval cut diamonds with ideal proportions should exhibit a very small bow tie effect. Other fancy shapes that have a bow-tie effect are marquises, pears and heart shapes. Oval cuts tend to appear larger in a face-up position compared to other fancy shapes of the same carat weight.
The marquise cut is an eye-shaped brilliant cut with its ends meeting in sharp points. This cut is associated with 1970s jewelry styles although its origin can be traced back to the 1700s. Innovative setting of the marquise cut gives an instant update on this longstanding fancy shape – an east-west orientation of marquise cuts is particularly favored nowadays.
The sharp pointed ends of the marquise cut make it vulnerable to chipping, so special care should be taken during setting to ensure it is well-secured. Marquise cut diamonds are prone to the bow-tie effect, a dark area visible in the center width of elongated fancy shapes caused by the combination of different pavilion angles. To judge the appearance and quality of a marquise cut diamond, it is best to view in person. Marquise cuts usually look larger in a face-up position than other fancy shapes of the same carat weight.
The pear shape is a teardrop-shaped brilliant cut, round on one end and sharply pointed at the other. Like the oval and marquise cuts, the pear shape can flatter fingers by giving the illusion of pronounced length. As with other fancy shapes that have pointed ends, the pointed end of the pear shape should be carefully secured during setting to avoid damage. The pear shape is prone to the bow-tie effect, a dark area that can be seen in the center width of the diamond and is caused by the interaction of different pavilion angles. Pear shapes can be short and stout or long and thin depending on individual preference. The pear shape typically appears larger in a face-up position compared to other fancy shapes of the same carat weight.
The heart shape is a brilliant cut classic shape featuring curved sides that meet in a cleavage point at one end and in a sharp point at the other. Heart-shaped diamonds can exhibit a bow-tie effect, which is a dark area observed in the center width of the fancy shape and caused by different pavilion angles interacting. Well-cut heart shapes will have symmetrical curved sides rounding out into a defined point of cleavage at the top and a distinct point at the bottom. Heart-shaped diamonds usually appear sizeable for their carat weight, much like the 88 Cut.
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